Dell’s Anti-Spyware Initiative

Dell and the Internet Education Foundation have launched an new initiative to reach at least 63 million internet users over the next three years – and inform them of the dangers of spyware. 63 million, of course, being the number of broadband internet users in the US.

The Consumer Spyware Initiative (CSI) includes links to spyware removal software and the IEF’s Get Netwise website, and is also planning to recruit other technology companies in the fight against malware. The Get Netwise site also provides information about keeping children safe online and stopping spam.

Dell have a sound financial reason for promoting user awareness of malware and security: they have revealed that most of the support calls they receive regarding PCs are from users afflicted with spyware. A survey by Dell and IEF conducted last month of 742 internet users from a sample of 1000 US citizens indicated that 39% fell less secure than they did a year ago.

“Since January 2004, more customers have called Dell seeking relief from spyware than for any other technical support issue,” said Mike George, vice president and general manager of Dell’s U.S. Consumer business. “We’ve been focused on arming our customers with the information and tools they need to combat this problem. Through this process, we’ve seen that education is our best counter intelligence against the threat of spyware.”

Tim Lordan, staff director of IEF said in a statement:”The Internet is an integral part of our economy and lifestyle, and it is vital to ensure that Internet users are not deterred from going online due to hazards like spyware. CSI will provide Internet users with the knowledge they need to feel secure online, and IEF is proud to sponsor such an important program with Dell.”

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?